Thursday, November 30, 2006

It does come from the heart, trust me !

A long lost friend , PPP's "APA KHABAR?" email pop up in my mailbox the week after Raya.
It is not such a wonder in today's virtually connected world, where everything is at the tip of our fingers. A few forwarded emails and with the help of the Tetikus scrolling up and down, familar text come to vision. With a "one-in-a-million" name like mine, it is a safe bet. But still one can never be too sure. Further clicks away ... the email reach my proxy mailbox which later is auto-forwarded to my active mailbox.
To the unbelieving eyes, the window session is refresh a few times and the "IT HELPDESK" in me, even restart the computer , not once but twice, ... just to make sure what's read is for real.

All the meaningful coincidences in life ... starting a friendship, cherishing it, lapsing on it and the awareness that out there, after all these years, somewhere thoughtful friends do exist ...

Yes ... in life we do welcome some sweetener every now and then. And what can be sweeter than a friendship extended from the heart !

* PPP - Personal & Private person, it's not People Progressive Party wokey !
pssttt : what i recalled mostly about PPP is the handwriting - i always thought PPP write like a typewriter - very very very neat !

photo source :

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sedekad dah hidup

Last week conversation in the car, on the way to AdDaris for "mengaji".

Azfar : Mak, minggu depan abang dah hidup sedekad !
Mak : Mmmmm sedekad tu apa ?
Azfar : Sepuluh tahun. Tak payah nak buat "birthday", abang tak nak hadiah buku atau apa-apa yang kena beli. Umur Mak berapa ?
Mak : 38
Azfar : Macam tu Mak dah hidup hampir 4 DEKAD !

Eyang (nenek) make special breakfast this morning. Baked Honey Chicken Wings, Coleslow and Egg Sandwich. Mak, faithful Giant donor, bought chocolates the night before for the breakfast party.

L to R :
Aman (kaki sakit kejang main bola kelmarinnya), Eyang, Ilyas, Azfar & Aziz.
Baba Uqbah tiada dalam gambar sebab sibuk nak ambik gambar.
Mak & the Ayahanda tiada dalam gambar sebab sibuk adjust Uqbah yang nak ambik gambar.

Today, exception is given to the Ilyas, the next-door-boy in yellow, to come for breakfast before his morning shower. In fact the birthday boy and the birthday boy siblings pun semua belum mandi !!!

And Mak give Azfar a "tak payah beli" present. A more patient, a less erratic , more understanding mother . And a present of prayer ... Semoga Abang Paa di kurniakan kesihatan, kepandaian, kesopanan dan kesusilaan. Dan murah rezeki dan sentiasa dilindungi Allah.

As usual, the winner of any eating contest is ...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Bye Bye Letter ... not mine lah !

At 10 pm, after dinner and the kids all in bed, already in the lala land, the Ayahanda, finally said the word ... "I am ready to resign, please help to write the Resignation Letter" . In this house, I am always the one have to do the writing up. For this particular occasion I happily obliged.

So I go goggling "resignation letter". I am expecting to get a few standard templates and make some minor adjustment and in 20 minutes I can join the la la land. Aside from the standard "Bye Bye" letter, look what I find goggling .

A simple one like this ... Nixon's resignation letter . Sweet and simple and right to the point.

And the other extreme of detail resignation letters from several high-ranking US State Department personnel.

One from Mary (Ann) Wright, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Mongolia . She resigned due to her disagreement with the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the lack of effort in resolving the Israel-Palestinian situation, the lack of policy on North Korea and unnecessary curtailment of civil liberties in the United States. Read details below.

On a similar note of clashed principles - John Brady Kiesling's, who resigned while serving at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece.

The letters are rather long, but worth reading.

Ever wonder how does the "Datuks" of Klang Municipal Councils' resignation letters look like ?
I don't want to speak politics here, remember, my assignment from the Ayahanda is to write up his resignation letter, melalut pulak Makcik ni, which I completed in 10 minutes.

Just tickling your conscience with all these principled resignation. Ye lah kan, tak kan nak makan gaji buta . Happy reading and be grateful, there are still principled people around.

Source :

The following is a copy of Mary (Ann) Wright's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wright was most recently the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She helped open the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in January 2002.

U.S. Embassy
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
March 19, 2003

Secretary of State Colin Powell
US Department of State
Washington, DC 20521

Dear Secretary Powell:

When I last saw you in Kabul in January, 2002 you arrived to officially open the US Embassy that I had helped reestablish in December, 2001 as the first political officer. At that time I could not have imagined that I would be writing a year later to resign from the Foreign Service because of US policies. All my adult life I have been in service to the United States. I have been a diplomat for fifteen years and the Deputy Chief of Mission in our Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan (briefly) and Mongolia. I have also had assignments in Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada and Nicaragua. I received the State Department's Award for Heroism as Charge d'Affaires during the evacuation of Sierra Leone in 1997. I was 26 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and participated in civil reconstruction projects after military operations in Grenada, Panama and Somalia. I attained the rank of Colonel during my military service.

This is the only time in my many years serving America that I have felt I cannot represent the policies of an Administration of the United States. I disagree with the Administration's policies on Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, North Korea and curtailment of civil liberties in the U.S. itself. I believe the Administration's policies are making the world a more dangerous, not a safer, place. I feel obligated morally and professionally to set out my very deep and firm concerns on these policies and to resign from government service as I cannot defend or implement them.

I hope you will bear with my explanation of why I must resign. After thirty years of service to my country, my decision to resign is a huge step and I want to be clear in my reasons why I must do so.

I disagree with the Administration's policies on Iraq

I wrote this letter five weeks ago and held it hoping that the Administration would not go to war against Iraq at this time without United Nations Security Council agreement. I strongly believe that going to war now will make the world more dangerous, not safer.

There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein is a despicable dictator and has done incredible damage to the Iraqi people and others of the region. I totally support the international community's demand that Saddam's regime destroy weapons of mass destruction.

However, I believe we should not use US military force without UNSC agreement to ensure compliance. In our press for military action now, we have created deep chasms in the international community and in important international organizations. Our policies have alienated many of our allies and created ill will in much of the world.

Countries of the world supported America's action in Afghanistan as a response to the September 11 Al Qaida attacks on America. Since then, America has lost the incredible sympathy of most of the world because of our policy toward Iraq. Much of the world considers our statements about Iraq as arrogant, untruthful and masking a hidden agenda. Leaders of moderate Moslem/Arab countries warn us about predicable outrage and anger of the youth of their countries if America enters an Arab country with the purpose of attacking Moslems/Arabs, not defending them. Attacking the Saddam regime in Iraq now is very different than expelling the same regime from Kuwait, as we did ten years ago.

I strongly believe the probable response of many Arabs of the region and Moslems of the world if the US enters Iraq without UNSC agreement will result in actions extraordinarily dangerous to America and Americans. Military action now without UNSC agreement is much more dangerous for America and the world than allowing the UN weapons inspections to proceed and subsequently taking UNSC authorized action if warranted.

I firmly believe the probability of Saddam using weapons of mass destruction is low, as he knows that using those weapons will trigger an immediate, strong and justified international response. There will be no question of action against Saddam in that case. I strongly disagree with the use of a "preemptive attack" against Iraq and believe that this preemptive attack policy will be used against us and provide justification for individuals and groups to "preemptively attack" America and American citizens.

The international military build-up is providing pressure on the regime that is resulting in a slow, but steady disclosure of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). We should give the weapons inspectors time to do their job. We should not give extremist Moslems/ Arabs a further cause to hate America, or give moderate Moslems a reason to join the extremists. Additionally, we must reevaluate keeping our military forces in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Their presence on the Islamic "holy soil" of Saudi Arabia will be an anti-American rally cry for Moslems as long as the US military remains and a strong reason, in their opinion, for actions against the US government and American citizens.

Although I strongly believe the time in not yet right for military action in Iraq, as a soldier who has been in several military operations, I hope General Franks, US and coalition forces can accomplish the missions they will be ordered do without loss of civilian or military life and without destruction of the Iraqi peoples' homes and livelihood.

I strongly urge the Department of State to attempt again to stop the policy that is leading us to military action in Iraq without UNSC agreement. Timing is everything and this is not yet the time for military action.

I disagree with the Administration's lack of effort in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Likewise, I cannot support the lack of effort by the Administration to use its influence to resurrect the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. As Palestinian suicide bombers kill Israelis and Israeli military operations kill Palestinians and destroy Palestinian towns and cities, the Administration has done little to end the violence. We must exert our considerable financial influence on the Israelis to stop destroying cities and on the Palestinians to curb its youth suicide bombers. I hope the Administration's long-needed "Roadmap for Peace" will have the human resources and political capital needed to finally make some progress toward peace.

I disagree with the Administration's lack of policy on North Korea

Additionally, I cannot support the Administration's position on North Korea. With weapons, bombs and missiles, the risks that North Korea poses are too great to ignore. I strongly believe the Administration's lack of substantive discussion, dialogue and engagement over the last two years has jeopardized security on the peninsula and the region. The situation with North Korea is dangerous for us to continue to neglect.

I disagree with the Administration's policies on Unnecessary Curtailment of Rights in America

Further, I cannot support the Administration's unnecessary curtailment of civil rights following September 11. The investigation of those suspected of ties with terrorist organizations is critical but the legal system of America for 200 years has been based on standards that provide protections for persons during the investigation period. Solitary confinement without access to legal counsel cuts the heart out of the legal foundation on which our country stands. Additionally, I believe the Administration's secrecy in the judicial process has created an atmosphere of fear to speak out against the gutting of the protections on which America was built and the protections we encourage other countries to provide to their citizens.


I have served my country for almost thirty years in the some of the most isolated and dangerous parts of the world. I want to continue to serve America. However, I do not believe in the policies of this Administration and cannot defend or implement them. It is with heavy heart that I must end my service to America and therefore resign due to the Administration's policies.

Mr. Secretary, to end on a personal note, under your leadership, we have made great progress in improving the organization and administration of the Foreign Service and the Department of State. I want to thank you for your extraordinary efforts to that end. I hate to leave the Foreign Service, and I wish you and our colleagues well.

Very Respectfully,

Mary A. Wright, FO-01

Deputy Chief of Mission
US Embassy
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

News from Demit

Today's most "ceria" SMS on my handphone :

"Ida dah lulus "

So now we have a family certified expert in "korek hidung dan korek telinga dan segala permasaalahan kesihatan di ruangan berkaitan telinga, hidung dan tekak".

Doc Ida, your first patient can be the Ayahanda with his suspected ... hyposmia .

Ida & Baby Imran Ali ... gambar tiada kaitan dengan cerita di atas. Cuma karakter yang di sebelah kanan itu adalah juru korek yang di kaitkan dalam cerita di atas.

Monday, November 13, 2006

FOC - Where to go ?

Mr Boss asked why he hasn’t sign my FOC application. Apparently I am the only few who have not submitted the forms.
It didn’t trigger me that my yearly FOC which I earned in 2005 will expire Dec 15th 2006 … in 4 weeks time !!!

Here are my problems :
a) It is difficult to book flight seats at this time of the year, what not with the holiday season.
b) The "ongkos" factor. 2 Eids+school start in a span of 2.5 months ... and no hope of Bonus announcement from Mr MD.
c) The Ayahanda's still-not-finalized plan is yet another major dependency.

I can’t imagine me traveling with the 4 little Wans without another adult. The last air travel (more than 2 hr) was to Melbourne visiting the Doc-sis's family and we had a difficult time trying to keep Uqbah on his seat. Uqbah is a very restless kid plus a bit claustrophobic. He can’t stand being in a confined space for more than 10 minutes. At 2 yrs of age, he's too young to appreciate the Inflight Entertainment. The paracetamol has minimum impact on him. He slept for 1 hour and the balance of the time, he “tawaf-ed” in the plane so many times and we were afraid the food trolley will knock him.

Padan muka sendiri. Plan last minute ni memang memfeninkan kefala, siapa susah ... sendiri juga.

As Mr Tan Sri's bebelan ... "Kan I dah cakap, book 2 3 months ahead, macam I ni ha. Dah settle, November 23rd dah fly ... bye to you" . Ye le Mr Tan Sri, aku yang bersalah .

Last resort is to apply to HR for an extension ... ayooo kena pergi "menghadap". I will leave this for the very very very last option ... just because I don't like to have to "menghadap".

Where would you go if you have FOC air tickets for the whole family on a limited budget and short time like ... 3 or 4 days the most ?

This country do look interesting, isn't it ? No ... that's not Mongolia !
Now who can help me on the "ongkos" part ?